I’ve been chairman of the National Center for Women and Information Technology for the past two years. The mission is straightforward – it is “to ensure that women are fully represented in the influential world of information technology and computing.”
NCWIT programming is organized into “alliances” – we have an academic, workforce, K-12, and entrepreneurial alliance. The academic and workforce alliance are the most mature; the entrepreneurial alliance is the youngest.
A year ago I sat down with Lucy Sanders – the NCWIT CEO – and a few other folks (including Heidi Roizen and Lee Kennedy) to discuss the most impactful thing we could do to raise the visibility of successful women entrepreneurs in the IT / computer science field. While there are some very notable successful women, we wanted to shine a bright light on some of the younger ones and those who could be additional role models for young women interested in entrepreneurship in the IT arena.
We came up with the NCWIT Heroes program – a series of short podcast interviews. These 15-minute interviews interviews are going to be released weekly with approximately 20 women IT entrepreneurs chosen from among more than 100 nominations. I’ve found the project fascinating – both identifying the women and helping set up the interviews.
The first three interviews are with:
- Lucy Sanders: CEO and co-founder NCWIT; Bell/Lucent/Avaya Labs
- Helen Greiner: co-founder and Chairman of iRobot
- Elaine Wherry: co-founder of Meebo.com